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College Hosts Regional Mock Trial Tournament

February 01, 2013

Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

On Friday, Feb. 1, more than 240 students from all over the northeast will arrive on campus to prepare for a liability and defense case as Saint Anselm College hosts the Regional American Mock Trial Association's Qualifying Tournament.

The tournament, which runs February 1-3, features 24 teams of students from New England schools including Boston College, Dartmouth, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The winning team will proceed to the national tournament.

The first round of competition is Friday night followed by three more rounds and an awards banquet at Davison Hall on Sunday. The tournament is using a liability and defense case with teams acting as the defense and prosecution. Ten students from each team compete as attorneys, witnesses or both.

More than 65 lawyers, law students, and judges have volunteered to serve as mock trial judges, many of whom are college alumni. Host Coordinator, Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B., sees the tournament as an incredible learning experience for the whole school, both past and present.

"This gives alumni who are now practicing law an opportunity to come back and help showcase the hospitality and talent of Saint Anselm College," Said Fr. Mathias.

Club Team Prepares for Trial
Founded in 2009 by alumnae Alyssa Hatem '12 and Alex Puglisi '11, the college's mock trial team has 15 members of diverse majors from history and nursing to politics. In four years, the team has celebrated significant victories at past tournaments and earned respect from the mock trial community.

Meeting three times a week to discuss case materials, they often spend as many as ten hours a week using their courtroom knowledge to develop strong opening and closing statements as well as every detail in between. Through mock trial, the students learn communication and public speaking skills. They debate with opposing counsel, question witnesses and analyze cases.

Current club president and senior politics major Christopher Knights said, "We consider it an incredible honor that our college was chosen by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) to host this tournament."

"The fact that we were chosen to host for the second consecutive year is a testament to our school's warm, Benedictine hospitality as well as the dedication of the many volunteers who work hard to make sure the tournament runs smoothly."

The top seven teams from this weekend's tournament will advance to the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) Tournament while the top six teams proceed to the ORCS to the National Championship Tournament held this April in Washington, D.C.